German telecommunications regulator said the 5G auction is scheduled for the second half of March
German telecommunications operator Telefonica Deutschland filed an emergency injunction seeking a temporary halt to Germany’s 5G spectrum auction, Reuters reported, citing a spokesman for the Cologne administrative court.
The country’s telecom services regulator BNetzA, which is organizing the spectrum auction, has the right to respond to the claim, so it is unclear how soon the administrative court would be able to issue a ruling.
The emergency injunction could potentially cause the delay of the 5G spectrum auction.
“The petitioner wants to use the emergency motion to achieve a temporary halt to the mobile spectrum auction,” the court spokesperson told Reuters. The auction is scheduled to take place in the second half of March, according to previous reports.
Other telecom operators such as Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Germany have already filed legal complaints challenging the terms of the 5G auction; they have also protested the terms under which they must provide roaming to new market entrants.
Last month, BNetzA confirmed that it had received applications from four companies to take part in its 5G auction. Although the regulator did not reveal the identity of the interested companies, local press reports suggested that Telefonica Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone, as well as newcomer 1&1 Drillisch will take part in the process.
In November, the telecom regulator published the final draft conditions for the country’s 5G auction. Bundesnetzagentur President Jochen Homann said the proposal had been revised from the original terms, taking into account numerous comments from interested parties.
Among the final draft conditions are a required minimum data rate of 100 Mbps available by the end of 2022 in 98% of households in each state, all federal highways, all main roads and along the major railway routes. Also, each existing carrier must also install 1,000 5G base stations and 500 other base stations in defined areas by the end of 2022. At the end of 2024, 5G coverage should be extended to seaports, main waterways and all other road and rail routes in the country. The regulator said that the minimum coverage rules will not be applicable to any new entrant.
The regulator’s documentation also includes the expectation that operators would work together on providing coverage in areas not economically viable for each to install their own equipment.
The telecoms services regulator will also offer regional licenses for spectrum in the 3.8 GHz and 26 GHz range; several German car makers and industrial companies have already announced plans to take part in the process.
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